Strange Bedfellows Push for Ill-Advised Debarment of MCI Through GSA Petitions, Hatch Committee Hearings

WASHINGTON – In what has become an organized effort to, effectively, throw 63,000 telecommunications workers out of their jobs, left-wing unions such as the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and a few interest groups have come out in favor of the debarment of MCI from being able to compete for government contracts through the General Services Administration (GSA).

Last month, Americans for Tax Reform, a strong supporter of settling issues in the marketplace, wrote a letter signed by fifteen state and national organizations to Stephen Perry, Administrator at the GSA, urging that MCI be allowed to compete and continue to provide critical communications services as it is currently doing in postwar Iraq.

Just last week, ATR issued a release against the accusations made by CWA and other anti-MCI interest groups. The release can be found on ATR\’s website at

"This clearly is an orchestrated effort by unions to tear to pieces a company whose workers voted against union membership," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "This campaign has had impact on Capitol Hill, and it\’s dispiriting to see."

The Communications Workers of America attempted to unionize MCI, then WorldCom, a few years back, but the effort was voted down by the employees. Many see the current attack on MCI, and the participation of the likes of Sen. Kennedy, as an attempt at political payback.

"Tens of thousands of workers\’ – taxpayers\’ – jobs depend on MCI\’s ability to continue to provide what, by all accounts, are solid services to the government," Norquist continued. "The July 15th Hatch committee hearings – if they must proceed — should take these workers\’ futures into strong account, as well as what actual good any debarment of a compliant and reorganized company would actually do. We urge Senator Hatch and the GSA to examine these issues – and the information provided them by vested parties – very closely.